Have you done #nanowrimo or the academic-focused version #acwrimo? It’s a focused time in November to bang out a novel draft of 50k words (#nanowrimo) or an academic project of the writer’s choosing (#acwrimo).
If you're curious about approaches to #acwrimo, check out this list.
I’ve never done an #acwrimo before (I did one #nanowrimo in high school*), but this year, my itch to spend concentrated time on a single topic happens to coincide roughly with November. So I’m doing a version of #acwrimo tailored to my goals and schedule.
Here’s my basic plan: two hours first thing in my morning work time, for four weeks running Oct 23-Nov 17. (Wayyy too many travels in the last week and a half of November to get consistent writing time in, but I want four weeks straight to dwell on the project, hence the start date in October.)
My first goal: to discover what I have to say about my topic (how church musicians can/can’t convey their personal truthfulness or doctrinal content through their music-making). I think that what I have to say will take on a book form, but I’m not entirely sure—so my secondary goal is to find out if a book format fits my ideas and purposes.
But I'm not sure how to accomplish those goals. So I’m writing this post, hoping for suggestions: how should I use this structured time I’m giving myself to explore?
Here’s my current thinking:
—Spend the first week free writing, reviewing my many notes. I need to grasp the big picture and see where my heart is.
—Spend 1-2 mornings researching possible publishers.
—Draft an online survey and give to musician friends for feedback.
—Identify musicians and pastors I’d like to interview and develop conversation starters.
—End with an itemized roadmap, assuming I decide to continue with the project after the 4 weeks.
What else should I think about as I figure out the shape this project will take?
I haven’t been writing much since the summer because: I’m launching a podcast next week! It’s on church music, for church musicians. I’m co-hosting with a friend and each episode features an interview with a musician or researcher. Since September, my writing time has been taken up with interviews, learning to use recording equipment and—the big one—audio editing.
*A couple years ago I opened the file for my #nanowrimo novel and skimmed it. The signs are all there: I was a writer. A writer whose propensity was/is for non-fiction. Just took me another decade or so to embrace that reality!